David Oborny looked at the ticket just handed to him by Cooperative Grain & Supply manager Mike Thomas at the Marion elevator.
“580 bushels, 13.1 moisture, and 57.7 test weight,” he read. “That’s a good test weight. The average is 56.”
Oborny was harvesting corn Friday on a 30-acre field north of Marion. It was planted May 15. He combined the first field two weeks ago, and it averaged 67 bushels per acre.
“This was the year not to plant corn early,” he said. “This later planted corn is doing quite a bit better.” (He later reported a yield of 98 bushels per acre on that field.)
Oborny uses a 1660 International combine with a six-row header and hauls the corn with an International tandem-axle truck holding 550 to 575 bushels.
He had another 70 acres to go. His son, Tom, was home for the weekend from Hutchinson Community College to help with the harvest. Meanwhile, his wife, Sam, was sowing wheat, hoping to get the last 50 acres in before the next chance of rain Sunday night.
The Obornys have two other children: Tabitha, a junior, and Greg, a freshman at Centre High School.
They run a diversified farming operation including a 250-head mostly Red Angus cowherd, 350 acres of wheat, and some milo. They manage 3,000 acres — one-third owned and two-thirds rented. Many of the rented acres are grass.
Oborny uses minimum tillage on his farm ground, and occasionally no-tills corn into wheat ground.
“I’m not big on technology,” he said. “I’m happy the way it’s working. I guess it’s just my personal preference.”
He joined his father, the late George Oborny, full-time on the farm after graduating from high school. He said they were able to acquire more land just as he was graduating, which made it possible for him to partner with his dad. Son Tom is taking a two-year welding technology course at HCC before returning to the farm.
“Farming has changed a lot,” Oborny said. “What we are doing right now used to feed five families.”
“Farming has its ups and downs,” he said. “You have to be in it for the long haul. I think this year was close to the best ever.”